Camping in America – The State of Georgia

The Empire State of the South (or The Peach State) is a fantastic location for camping due to its huge selection of state parks, natural reserves, hiking trails, campgrounds, national forests and established campsites. In this ultimate guide, we will try to cover everything you need to know when planning to camp in Georgia.

Where to camp in Georgia

Georgia is popular for tourism and travel, so here we will lay out some great locations that are worth checking out before you decide on a spot. With over 2,700 campsites dotted across the landscape, there are a whole bunch of options available to you. There are some incredible state parks that deserve to be listed here too, so take time to research - check out their locations and what hidden treasures they have to offer before you make your choice:

  • Stone Mountain Park,
  • Amicalola Falls State Park,
  • F. Roosevelt State Park,
  • Fort Mountain State Park,
  • High Falls State Park,
  • Fort Yargo State Park,
  • Tallulah Gorge State Park,
  • Skidaway Island State Park,
  • Cloudland Canyon State Park.

There are some amazing National Forests through Georgia too, these include  

  • Chattahoochee Oconee National Forest
  • Black Rock Mountain,
  • Blue Ridge Mountain.

Each of these locations are home to some great tent sites, both dispersed and established, which will cover all types of campers from novice explorers to veteran wild-campers!

What to pack for camping in Georgia

Though every adventure is unique, there are essential items to pack into your inventory that carry across all types of camping trip. We’ll dig into those shortly, but first let’s take a look at the different types of Tree Tent that you might want to pack.

Hikers & Backpackers

If you are a hiker / backpacker who is always on the move you’ll need a lightweight tent to ease up your carry. The Tentsile UNA 1-Person Tree Tent is the perfect choice, as it’s incredibly comfortable and quick to set up – it can take less than 10 mins to create the perfect camp once you’ve got the hang of it! If you’re not sleeping and just resting up, the T-Mini 2-Person Double Camping Hammock is just like the UNA, light, quick to set up, and super comfortable.

Backcountry Camper

Backcountry campers who require a hub for their base camp on a multi-day trip may be looking for something a little more spacious to shelter both themselves and their gear for multiple days and nights no matter the weather or terrain.  The Flite 2-Person Tree Tent is perfect for a pair of wild-camping trail hikers – and it’s easy to split the load between two backpacks with such a small pack down size.

The suspension system that Tentsile Tree Tents makes for a much more versatile set up, allowing you to camp almost anywhere with trees, regardless of the soggy, boggy ground below. We’ve even had customers use them suspended over Swamps – though when you’re travelling in Georgia you’re going to want to avoid this on account of the Alligators!

Camping Essentials

  • Sleeping bags - are a must - an all season sleeping bag will do you just right for Georgia across the year.
  • Portable phone charger - or recharging station is important, as your phone will be your main GPS system as well as a way to call for help if necessary. Going to be off grid? Make it a solar power pack so you can recharge on the move!
  • Lighting - Every set up benefits from a light source once the sun goes down, if only to relocate the ‘Smores' you left around somewhere… Again solar powered is the best option here – no need to risk conventional batteries running out – instead reduce your footprint by using a Luminaid Lantern,  which can be charging as you hike! A Head Torch is also very handy and leaves your hands free! The best bit about these nifty little light sources is that they are super lightweight and pack down really small so you’ll barely notice them until it’s time to light up the tent at sundown. 
  • Sunglasses - are important when camping, even in winter. UV levels can be extremely harsh with strong sun or glare from snow. There’s nothing worse than sore eyes when you’re trying to relax, and it’s important to protect them.
  • Take plenty of Food & Water - for everyone in your party. A good cooler is often the best way to keep food fresh and clean and a good flask!
  • Pack Animal Resistant Food Storage - and bin bags for disposing of food properly and safely. Remember, Leave No Trace principles apply!
  • Weather protection - There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Think about the season you’ll be travelling in. Take lightweight waterproofs, warm layers, sun hats and sunscreen, and bug protection, depending on the likely conditions at that time. Always pack in preparation for the weather, and keep an eye on the forecast to inform your kit list. Check local weather alerts close to the time of departure to make sure nothing unexpected is brewing that could leave you in trouble – flash flooding, heavy storms etc.
  • Last but most certainly not least, a First Aid Kit - is a top priority. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but you should definitely have one just in case. Nothing puts an end to the fun like an injury that is causing you discomfort, and quick treatment of minor ailments can often stop them from getting far worse, giving you enough time to get home and treat them properly.

What to consider before camping in Georgia

Before heading out on your camping trip in Georgia, familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations which are outlined by the local jurisdiction. It’s worth checking them out before you head off and pitch up.

Things like maximum stays how long you can camp in certain locations, whether it’s in the wild or in a campground for example, these are just some of the details to bear in mind when planning your trip. Also, you’ll want to check out whether camping permits are required for where you plan to camp. You can start your research by reviewing the Georgia State Parks website.   

You’ll also need to find out whether you can have a fire at your chosen campsite, and the precautions to follow if you do. If you are permitted to build a fire, keep safe and don’t over fuel it - learn to create a firepit in order to both keep the heat contained and the flames down. 

Make your bookings far in advance and research the available amenities, see if they suit your style of camping and the number of campers you have in your group. Speaking with campsites to double check availability ahead of time will save you a headache in the long run, especially after a long day carrying around your pack! Depending on the time of year you book, there are chances of large crowds. Many find that camping off-season makes for a more peaceful (and often cheaper) experience. So, consider the season, and if you’d prefer a quiet trip then you may have to trade the warmth of the busy summer for a quieter Fall / winter camping trip. Note – inexperienced campers are not recommended to camp in the north mountain areas of Georgia during winter.  

Different types of camping options in Georgia include:

Primitive & Backcountry Camping

  • Primitive camping – or backcountry camping – isolated from other campers. You typically don’t need to reserve campsites, there are not necessarily any running water hook ups, toilets, showers, or of course, any electrical points! If you’re camping off the beaten track in this way, be well prepared and make sure someone knows what your route is likely to be in case of emergencies.

Car Camping

  • Car Camping – Some locations are well suited to assisted travel – drive all your gear in instead of wearing it on your back, and hike out from basecamp when you want to hit the trail.

Walk in Campsites

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  • Walk in Campsites – many of these sites will typically have access to toilets, water, and have basic amenities like a fire ring and picnic table etc.

Georgia Camping Tips

Check the local wildlife online and see if you’d need to be extra careful about dangerous animals in the specific areas you plan to travel through. Black Bears and Alligators are present in many locations in Georgia.

Follow safety guidance if you do encounter either of these animals, or other potentially dangerous wildlife on your camping route. And it’s not just big animals either - be mindful of Ticks, and always check yourself before you turn in for the day.

On the point of safety – remember also to stay to marked trails where at all possible, and map out the trails you’ll take so you can get back to your campsite before dark. Similarly, take a pared down Emergency kit on any day hikes including water, energy foods, and a whistle and flashlight in case you get into difficulty and need to get attention.

Getting the most out of your Georgia Trip

Wherever in Georgia you end up exploring, we sure it’ll be an adventure to remember. Follow us on Instagram to see how our Customers have got on camping with their Tentsile, in Georgia and beyond! For more information and resources when planning your trip, you can check out the following links:

Alex Shirley-Smith